Truth to Power Café 20/10/19 Conway Hall
I was delighted to take part in the first Truth To Power Cafe in London, produced by London Artist Projects, at Conway Hall.
This event, created by producer Jeremy Goldstein, invites people to speak their own truth to power.
Here's the script from the event….
Hello, I’m a Revolting Midwife.
I want to talk to all who undermine women’s ability to birth.
Birth is a right of Passage for women and birthing people – it heralds the start of family, and a whole new life, full of potential.
How you birth is important – I had a powerful birth with my first child squatting on the floor, supported by my partner and a brilliant midwife and I had a highly medicalised
birth for my second, which saved her life, but it was an alienating, clinical procedure which left me feeling bereft and powerless.
A positive experience sets up all those new relationships well, however a negative or traumatic experience can disrupt those new beginnings and effect the physical and
mental health of all involved, particularly the mother.
We live in extreme times - Extinction Rebellion, and many others have declared a climate emergency but is it time to declare a birth emergency too?
Working as a midwife in London, I see:
- Increasing medicalisation and intervention rates.
- Health disparities such as how black women are five times more likely to die in childbirth than white women.
- Breastfeeding struggles and breastfeeding shaming.
- Birth trauma, estimated by the Birth Trauma Association to affect 30,000 women a year.
- Mental health problems, such as postnatal depression, and suicide the biggest killer of women* up to one year after birth.
All these issues are common in high income countries, whereas globally, in low income countries we often see ‘too little, too late’, a situation where access to healthcare is limited, and a westernised obstetric medical model is imposed potentially triggering alienation and trauma.
How can I step up to this challenge?